Karmel Melamed is an award winning internationally published journalist and attorney based in Los Angeles. As a journalist since 2000, he has given a new voice to the emerging and successful Iranian community in the United States as well as having covered issues relating to Iran and the Middle East. His articles have appeared in the Jerusalem Post, JTA International Wire News Service, Beverly Hills 90210 Magazine, Orange County Register and the Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, as other prominent online publications.
Fluent in Farsi and familiar with Iranian culture and history, Melamed has successfully interviewed various influential leaders and news makers in the U.S. and in the Middle East. In 2004 he landed an exclusive interview with Empress of Iran, Farah Pahlavi. He frequently appears on various radio news programs, including National Public Radio and K.I.R.N. Radio Iran 670 AM, to discuss the contributions of the larger Iranian American community. As an Iranian American journalist, Melamed is frequently invited to speak at various venues across the U.S. about the human rights violations perpetrated by Iran’s regime against members of unions, religious minorities, women, LGBT and journalists living in Iran. He also authors the popular “Iranian American Jews” blog online.
Over the years Melamed has received numerous journalism awards namely from the Society of Professional Journalists and the Hearst Foundation for excellence in news reporting. In June 2011, two of his articles were named finalists in the Los Angeles Press Club’s annual news reporting competition.
I met Karmel Melamed when we were contributing writers at The Iranian Jewish Journal. It’s a pleasure to profile him on this post.
What is your background and education?
I have a B.A. in Journalism and a doctorate in law, so I’m both a journalist and an attorney.
What sparked your interest in journalism?
From a young age I enjoyed doing all kinds of writing because it was always a fun and creative outlet for me to express myself. My interests as well as fantastic teachers all the way through school led me to a path of journalism. Telling a great story has always been a passion of mine and continues to this day through my writing.
How long have you been a reporter for The Jewish Journal?
I’ve been writing for the Journal since 2004 but working as a freelance journalist for different publications worldwide since 2000.
What advice can you give to young aspiring journalists?
Find an area or topic that you really love reading and writing about, then do your research about it and slowly start the creative writing process on your own. You should also start your own blog to get your creative or journalistic writing out there even if you are not getting paid for it. Lastly start pitching story ideas to local newspapers or news websites to see if they will publish your work. Slowly and gradually as you obtain more published articles, you can build your portfolio and build a career as a full-time journalist. This is not a career that pays mega-bucks, so be ready to sacrifice a lot of time and energy in order to have success as a journalist – you have to do this because you honestly and truly love it. You should also have an alternative source of income if you want to have a more comfortable lifestyle in the long run.